The City of Eureka is getting closer to selling the long-vacant land on Waterfront Drive near Halvorsen Park to be developed into an RV park. The Planning Commission will be reviewing the project at a meeting on Monday.
Eureka has been looking to sell the property for years, and, after sending out a request for proposals in 2017, entered into an exclusive agreement for the property with Travis Schneider and Stephanie Bode of Schneider Enterprises.
The most recent version of the project includes the construction of a 40-space RV park, which Eureka Community Services Director Miles Slattery told the Outpost will be meant for short-term stays, primarily for people from outside of the area. Because of the property’s access to the Humboldt Bay and the Waterfront Trail, Slattery expects the park to be popular with tourists.
“This will be one for the most desirable [RV parks] on the North Coast,” Slattery told the Outpost. “I can guarantee that.”
In addition to the RV park, plans include the development of a new 100-foot floating dock on the bay and a 6,000-square-foot building that will include a public restroom and a commercial recreation facility — which Slattery explained will be used for aquatic equipment rentals, such as kayaks and paddle boards. The rental facility will be owned and operated by Schnieder and Bode and the restroom will be built and maintained by the city.
The project will also include the removal of the current restroom building on the parcel. Though the staff report states that two buildings will be removed, Slattery told the Outpost that this is incorrect and only one building will be demolished.
The Humboldt Bay Rowing Association, which leases a building on the property, will also continue to operate there under a long-term lease, Slattery said.
Previously, the site proposal also included a mixed-use development on the portion of the property to the west of Samoa Bridge called the “Halvorsen Village” — which would include a hotel, apartments and shopping. But those plans were very preliminary, Slattery said. Currently there are no official development plans for that portion of the property, except for the building that will house the rental facility and public restroom.
The hotel village was just one idea for an additional development on the property, which is zoned for mixed-use, Slattery said, and the owners will likely revisit the idea for an additional development in the future.
The Planning Commission will be reviewing the project’s CEQA documents, which were reviewed and commented on by the Coastal Commission, Water Board, the Blue Lake Rancheria, Wiyot tribe and Bear River.
If all goes well, Slattery said, the next step will be to obtain the coastal development permits. After that, the city can move forward with having the property appraised and finalizing the sale to Schneider and Bode.
Slattery says that construction could begin next year, though he realizes it may take a bit longer. “We’re hoping by next dry season,” Slattery said. “But that’s optimistic.”
The Eureka Planning Commission meets Monday, Sept. 9 at 5:30 p.m. in Eureka City Hall — 531 K Street.
The Commission will also be discussing the approval of three different cannabis use permits and will be reviewing the city’s Housing Element update.